AVBCW: Big Game 2015 03 14 Part 1

Yes, JP, Roo & I held another AVBCW Big Game – we’ve now been doing this for four years. We had two tables (each 6×10′) set up. I’ll concentrate on the table I was playing on for the first couple of postings.

Breinton Bridge

At the northern end of the Golden Valley control of this bridge was being contested between the rebels and the Royalists, as it is on the way to the market town of Hay-on-Wye.

Roo did us up some new river sections, rest of the secenery is the stuff I have churned out over the last few years.

My Malvern Hills Conservators (led by Sir Ed Ward-Glear) set up, along with Captain Arrowmsith’s (Richard) BUF tank and…pepperpot…
Our third ally was Tym’s forces.

More BUF infantry deploy. As the table edges qwere split in two, the three of us loyalists opted for the MHC and BUF to deploy on the western edge of the river, with Tym deploying pretty much alone on the eastern river bank. Our goal was to seize the bridge ASAP, occupy the cottage, and block both of the road junctions.

Gavin (as the Reverend Captain Verity of the Anglican League), deployed his Anglicans on the eastern bank of the river.

Clive (as the Bishop of Ludlow), deployed his forces including the awesome scratch built rocket launchers.
Both sides advanced.

The Bishop of Ludlow’s forces advanced with trucks pulling hand break turns to act as cover ! Behind the trucks, the rocket launchers prepareed for their first salvo.

Meanwhile the BUF forces, raced towards the bridge – the BUF’s tank ignored the Bishop of Ludlow’s forces leaving them to the pepperpot and the MHC. Arrowsmith’s cavalry occupied the road, whilst his infantry and command squad occupied the cottage and bridge.

Verity’s Anglicans move through the woods aiming to flank the bridge.

Meanwhile, Sir Gilbert’s LDV roar forward in their trucks and improvised contraptions !
(NB: Doug’s last game was hampered when he pulled a random event card reducing everything to mud and his vehicle column got bogged down for virtually the entire game – this time he was luckier)

And Sir Gilbert’s supporters the WI mounted the crest…of the hill…

Tym’s Royalist column arrives – lots of Crossley’s filled with…more women !
Is there something we don’t know about the women of H’ford ?

AVBCW: Motor Quadricycle of Death !

For my barfday, Byakhee Rich got me a present, though I suspect he had ulterior motives as he dropped some hints.

Yes, a Motor Quadricycle of Death ! From Zinge Industries. They seem to do a lot of WH40K inspired bits, but as they note on the page this vehicle is inspired by the WW1 German A7 tank.

Rich had built it for me and undercoated it black. Hmm now which AVBCW faction uses a lot of black ? And does that faction have a commander who has a reputation for lots of tanks, armoured cars and stuff ?? 😉

Rich had built it with rotating wheels, moveable HMGs and moveable hatch.

This popped into my head for some reason ! 🙂

Here’s a second one I bought afterwards, in its basic kit form. It turns out a bit of work had been done to allow all the moveable parts, as Rich commented:

If you bought wheels rather than tracks, that’s heavy engineering so you’d better let me do it. Holes drilled through the hull sides, brass rod axles, milliput and grinding tools for that bit !

So I have dropped it off with him.

To encourage him to complete this task of engineering, I painted the present green and slapped on some MHC transfers, so the MHC can go zipping round the Malverns in this strange vehicle, no doubt built at the Morgan Car factory in Malvern Link.

The MHC logo is a transfer, and is about 5mm wide, so a perfect circle isn’t going to happen and looks fine when placed on a table and observed at several foot’s distance with a Mk1 eyeball.

AVBCW: Painting Challenge

Well hopefully it won’t have escaped some peoples’ notice my mate JP & I are hosting another one of our Big Games on the 27th September. So we’re busy gearing up to organising it, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.

As usual, I am providing armies for delinquents who don’t know better and haven’t got their own little toy soldiers.

A recent review of the detritus, found a load of Foundry WW2 Home Guard cyclists.As one of the things JP & I are pushing in our latest game is the lack of fuel and ammo, bicycles are an ideal anitdote to lots of tanks and armoured cars.

As you can see, there’s a fair bit of greenstuff to make the arms meld in with the bodies, otherwise excellent models, so I planned to have a new unit of them to deploy on the battlefield – in accordance with my plan to get a new unit on the board with every single game I play !

In addition, my review found a number of other units to put together…

Luckily, Byakhee Richard is one of them so as Chief Engineer for many of the larger more complex items I build, he has been busy building new armoured vehicles for me. These (Musketeer) Lancia Armoured Trucks were used in the 1920’s not least in the Irish Civil War.

There was a fair amount oif blue language used whilst Richard built this Austin Morris A/C, however the outcome is very good with an excellent crew including one of Paul Hicks’ tank commanders – a bren gun, BOYS anti tank rifle and smoke bombs and this makes an excellent addition to the mechanised arm of the MHC.

Richard did however send me his list of mobile BUF….including a request for more cavalry, and even dismounted cavalry.

Good job I have some on the painting table. Again Musketeer BUF…

Looks like I’ll be busy over the next couple of weeks painting this lot up in time for the ganme.

Good job I almost finished the command group for the socialists for Mike then isn’t it ? 😉

AVBCW: The Malvern Hills of Madness

Our second game of the day. (Again all photos by JP some muppet forgot their camera)

After lunch we set the table up again, using H P Lovecraft and other pulp horror books to create a ridge across the middle of the table to represent the hills above Ham Green. We upped the points value of the forces from 300 to 450. JP’s black shirts deployed two regular units of 10 troops, an HMG, and 10 militia along with an HQ unit.

I deployed 2 x 5 shotgun armed militia, 10 Regulars, an HMG, a mortar and an HQ unit. Both of us opted to take a Medic. We were after all testing the rules out.

Both sides approached the ridge on opposite sides, and it was a race to get to the crest of the ridge first. So we were expecting a shoot them up session.

BUT, that suddenly changed. JP’s BUF moved up their HMG to some cover on the ridge, less than 6 inches from my shotgun armed militia, so in order to test the rules, I charged them in in an assault move.

OUCH ! The Bolt Action rules are pretty messy in close combat – I wiped the HMG crew out entirely.

Meanwhile his regulars advanced and shot my mortar spotter team. My mortar fired at them, hit and knocked off a couple of them. Our two regular units then did the expected stand off shooting session.

Then I got a dose of my own medicine when JP’s unit charged my HMG, with the same results.

Then I charged and wiped out his HQ. We now had units behind each others front lines. In the end the swirling melees lead us to include we had a draw.

Lots to chew on in terms of the rules, and the games added to our ongoing narrative in Herefordshire. Looks like the MHC and BUF emnity continues…

AVBCW: The Battle of Ham Green

The Malvern Hills Conservators were the attacking force trying to secure the western flanks of the Malvern Hills. We were using Bolt Action rules for the first time – and deployed forces worth 300 points given the size of JP’s table (about 4′ x 3′). All pictures by JP !

Expecting a rag tag set of bandits occupying their territory on the western flanks of the Malverns, the MHC encountered BUF forces in Ham Green complete with a light tank ! The MHC armed with a Lanchester A/C, and a large humber of shotguns decided to move forward anyway.

My new shotgun armed unit moved into the scrubland to avoid the BUF tank.

The BUF march down the road.

First turn the light tank brewed up the Lanchester leaving the MHC in an impossible situation.

Advancing through cover the MHC. LMG, SMG and rifle fire whittled down the MHC before they closed in on the BUF.

The BUF confidently marched down the road, whilst their tank stalled.

A firefight ensued. The MHC and did a couple of casualties before the inevitable withdrawal.

A good game, and for me it was great not to have to drag loads of scenery over to JP, having donated to him lots of stuff and his own efforts.

It quickly became apparent that under sustained fire, units quickly break down (the red and black markers). Unsurprisingly my new shotgun unit broke down and ran. The shot on the Lanchester was lucky and did spoil my plans straight off. I think JP was a bit guilty about his luck on this one as he didn’t move his tank in the best way.

After this game we broke for lunch provided by Mrs JP.

This week’s challenge completed !

So I set myself the challenge at the end of last week, and have completed it today.

I’d actually finished off the MHC Shotgun section yesterday bar their moustaches, and the Lanchester bar the MHC markings. However, I had a community meeting to attend at 7pm, so had to rush my cooking/eating, and inevitably the meeting went on until 9pm and by the time I’d edited the documents it was way to late to finish things off and post them.

So here they are in their finest facial hirsuteness. Hopefully not too bland, without looking like a rainbow of colour out on the hunt. Having rooted round in my collection, I’ll now be looking for another 4 or so shotgun toting nutters for my bandit force that has also seen a lick of paint late yesterday whilst I was waiting for the washes to dry. Bitten by the AVBCW bug again, just as well as it will give me enough time to sort out loads of stuff for the September Big Game JP & I are planning.

Here’s the Lanchester. I’m glad I didn’t try and rush it yesterday. This morning I tried daubing it with the simple slogan “MHC” (Malvern Hills Conservators), but it looked like a ham fisted 5 year old with a 1′ brush had done it. So I dug out a sheet of transfers I did some time ago and used them. Of course that takes a lot longer as you have to wait for the various washes you apply to dry. As of course these are roundels about 1cm in diameter, trying to cut a perfect circle is impossible, and even touching the edges up with paint still leaves a far from perfect circle. The pictures are obviously larger than life, so on a wargaming table its ok. Its something I’ll have to work on though.

As mentioned I had also done a quick couple of Objective markers as well and these were finished off.

Some more simple objective markers for AQMF.

So a total of:

  • 10 Shotgun weilding LDV – as they are all unique, this is going to count for 15 points on the paint log.
  • 1 Lanchester A/C – 5 points
  • 6 Objective markers – 6 points.

Total so far this year painted: 411.

I’ve set my next Objective for the w/e already and started.

AVBCW: The Hereford Campaign

Byakhee JP has posted some of the outcomes following our latest Big Game – The Second Battle of Foy.

The BUF (Cavalry under Captain Arrowsmith’s command pictured), along with their nominal allies the Royalists having been disarmed and ejected from Foy, there was a wider pattern of allegiences being forged.

JP has diligently updated the map of Hereford parishes and their allegiences, and added a narrative that helps take forward our Herefordian campaign.

This year, I hope to have some more games, where I actually get to play “my” faction, the Malvern Hills Conservators (MHC), so I’m eyeing those white patches of unaligned Parishes on the eastern fringes of Hereford. I can feel a good scrap or two being fought over them between Royalist, LDV, BUF and the MHC.

Threats of intervention from Shropshire have been made by several of those local factions, along with insinuations as to the nature of the relationship between Sir Gilbert, his wife, and his secretary (Miss Sweetmeat), and others.

The (newly installed) Suffragan Bishop of Ludlow rejoices at the return to the true faith of certain parishes in Herefordshire.

Contemplating the future from the highest tower of his HQ (and transport park) , Ludlow Castle, however, a burning question remains.
In fact, two.

Where now is the Archbishop of Herefordshire ?
Has the dastardly Foy regrown his moustache ?

The Suffragan Bishop is now regretting placing his intelligence gathering machine in the hands of a local farmer, Bartram Simpson, as not even considerable expenditure at the crowded bar of The Feathers Hotel over the last few weeks has resulted in any useful snippets of information. Bart would find answers on the back of postcard a real face – saver (and job – saver).

Meanwhile, Arthur Snout, the fiercely independent proprietor and editor of “The Ludlow Leader” is not interested in the answers to either of the above questions (although he will devote a column or two to the answers if they arise). True to the traditions of Fleet Street, the editor seeks to fill his (wartime reduced – save paper !) pages with an even more pressing regional (not to say, national) issue : what are the precise domestic arrangements of Sir Gilbert ? Was Miss Sweetmeat really an exotic dancer in the nightclubs of the Turks & Caicos Islands before taking her Pitmans Shorthand Course (by correspondence) and being engaged as Sir Gilbert’s secretary ? Has Lady Hill really taken refuge (together with considerable solace) in the arms of not one, but two, of Sir Gilbert’s gamekeepers (Messrs Mills & Boone) or is she party to an exotic continental arrangement with Sir Gilbert and Miss Sweetmeat herself ? Opinion at the bar of The Feathers Hotel is divided : the presses of “The Ludlow Leader” cannot long stand idle….

More is to be revealed…

In the face of this anarchy and aggression, the MHC under the tender stewardship of Sir George Moonbat and Sir Johnathan Porridge have decided to make a move to secure the western flanks of the Malvern from aggressive factions in Herefordshire and Shropshire in order to extend their warm and welcoming embrace of environmental concern and ensure stability and conservation of the natural order are continued.